Title: This Is 40

Director: Judd Apatow

Cast: Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, Megan Fox, Jason Segel, Melissa McCarthy, Chris O’Dowd, Albert Brooks, Lena Dunham, Maude Apatow, John Lithgow, Iris Apatow, and Charlyne Yi

What is there to say about Judd Apatow’s “This Is 40?” The follow-up to his 2009 film “Funny People,” it seems like Apatow is on a fast track for a decline in quality as “This Is 40” plummets down to zero. Starting off his career with such great promise with “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” in 2005 could be a double-edge sword for consistent success in Hollywood. Having a background on TV, Apatow proved that his films centered on the characters and keen character moments and interactions. So what happened with “This Is 40?” First off, it’s devoid of interesting characters making it really easy to disengage with this film. “This Is Objectionable.”

The story follows the exploits of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) and their family. The married couple from Apatow’s 2007 film “Knocked Up” seemed deemed fit for their own spinoff movie. Pete and Debbie are both turning 40 years old and the result is a manic, mean spirited, and an excruciating look at married life of an upper middle-class white family. From the opening scene of the couple having “birthday sex” in the shower to the very end of the film, I wanted to leave theater never to think about this movie again. “This Is Obnoxious.”

Pete and Debbie argue… a lot. So much so that while watching the film, you’ll think to yourself, why don’t Pete and Debbie get divorced? Divorce is a viable option in life, especially if you’re in a relationship where you can’t get along, stand, and often think of murdering your partner. But in Hollywood, divorce (and abortion) never seems to be a good option. It always seems as if it’s a subject that’s glossed over for “the sake of the kids” or “our marriage.” But if it’s clear to an audience watching the movie that the couple on the screen should get divorced, why isn’t it clear to the fictional couple or the filmmakers? “This Is Inept.”

On top of marital problems between Pete and Debbie, they have financial problems (he owns a record label and she owns a clothing boutique), and they have problems relating to their kids, Sadie (Maude Apatow) and Charlotte (Iris Apatow). Aside from their problems with their kids (having problems with teenagers will always be a struggle), Pete and Debbie seem to have superficial money problems. In this economy, there’s no shame in living below your means. Yeassh! “This Is Irresponsible.”

“This Is 40” is too reliant on the idea improv will save your movie. While that technique can work some of the time, in “This Is 40” every joke (written or improvised) just seems to fall flat without a hint of irony. It doesn’t seem like Apatow realize that a majority of the film is dead on arrival. Now I’m not going to discuss how long this movie is (it’s really overlong), or how the film uses pop culture as a safety net, but I am going to say that “This Is 40” has to be one of the worst films of 2012 as it just feels very clumsy and lacking of culpability. It’s comically bankrupt. “This Is Terrible!”

Technical: C-

Acting: D+

Story: F

Overall: D-

by @Rudie_Obias

By Rudie Obias

Lives in Brooklyn, New York. He's a freelance writer interested in cinema, pop culture, sex lifestyle, science fiction, and web culture. His work can be found at Mental Floss, Movie Pilot, UPROXX, ScreenRant, Battleship Pretension and of course Shockya.com.

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